The Ramona Flowers: an interview

[Published in Latitude Lookout magazine in 2016]

Hey guys! 

First things first, how did you guys form?

Steve - Well it started off as Dave, Wayne and Sam who started the band, and they're from Bristol. They started getting some songs together and they needed a singer and I live in London which is where Dave used to live, so he knew me and gave me a call. I came up and we jammed really well, and it just happened.

Cool, are you all London based now?

Steve - No, just me. I live in Battersea.

How did you go about naming the band?

Sam - Basically we had been together for a year and we were trying to find band names for the whole year and it was just getting ridiculous. I watched Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and there’s a big build up to Ramona Flowers’ introduction. She’s this amazing, beautiful, super cool, sexy girl and when I first heard her name I was like, that would be an amazing band name! I literally ran out of the room after pausing the film and went online and checked to see if there were any other bands with that name, and there weren’t! 

You’ve toured with Bombay Bicycle Club, Bastille and some other massive names. What was it like on the road with those guys?

Steve - Well the Bastille one was a really surreal experience because that was our second ever tour as a band and while we were on the road with them their record took off and they went number one, and it was absolutely mental! We’d walk off the tour bus, our tour bus, and they’d all scream and then they’d realise it was just us lot and stopped. It was a lot of screaming girls!

Where did you go?

Steve - That was all around the UK, we just did all the main cities and ended up at Shepard's Bush Empire which was an incredible venue.

Sam - Bombay sort of had a direct influence on our album and we listened to them quite a lot of the time so it was really nice to be going out with the band who inspired and influenced the album.

I loved your album, Dismantle and Rebuild. How did you discover your sound?

Steve - Well when we started it was just guitars, drums, bass and vocals, but we were all interested in electronic music so we started playing around with that and then ended up working with Andy Barlow from LAMB who's in that world and it just developed even more.

Sam - Dismantle was the hardest song on the album. We worked on that for 3 weeks solid and it literally went through every possible version you can think of. It was the longest song ever written and the end version compared to the first version is so different. It’s why we called the album that, it was such a nightmare to write!

What’s the songwriting process like?

Steve - We all write collectively really. I write most of the lyrics and we all work on the melody. Your first instincts are often right though, if we all feel there’s something good we’ll work with it, but if we all write a song and there’s one person that hates it we won’t use it. We can’t have a song that one person hates.

What’s 2015 look like for you guys?

Steve - January is going to be exciting. We’re gonna go straight in after Christmas and get some writing done pretty early next year, and hopefully get some festivals in this year too.

What advice can you give aspiring musicians?

Steve - You can never have too many songs, always be writing. The more songs you have the more chance you have of making it.

Sam - Only do short sets, that’s a big one. When people don't know you, just play six songs and go off, people get bored and then go home. You just want it to be your six best songs and then just leave. Short and sweet.

Thanks for the interview and advice, all the best for 2015!

The band have just started work recording album number two, which promises to be even better then the anthem heavy debut. Follow them on Facebook to keep updated… festival season is upon us!